I’ll be the first to admit it, sometimes I treat life – and motherhood – as a race. Recently, my seven year old daughter asked me to play a game with her. Exhausted after a long day at work, and looking forward to putting my feet up and watching Netflix, I hurried her off to bed instead.
When she dragged her feet, asking me to stand beside her while she brushed her teeth, I told her I’d come up once she was in her pyjamas and ready to be tucked in.
I wasn’t being mean… but I wasn’t being kind either.
Later that night, sitting on the couch, I realised that it wouldn’t have hurt me to spend an extra 20 minutes with my precious daughter. I could have spent time laughing with her while she brushed her teeth. I could have let her choose the book to read – rather than picking the shortest one I could find. I could have spent time asking her about her day and listening to her while she prayed for everything she could think of – rather than quickly reeling off a standard goodnight prayer.
Motherhood isn’t always easy. It’s a constant choice to put someone else’s needs before your own. And sometimes I get it wrong.
I’m the first to admit that I sometimes treat motherhood like a race. I’m so used to working fast in my workplace that I come home and expect my kids to respond just as quickly as my colleagues.
I hurry them through dinner, then get them to do their homework as quickly as possible. I shower rather than bathe them (because it’s quicker) and then get them into bed as quickly as possible.
It’s only later – when I look back at how my impatience makes everyone feel rushed and stressed, that I regret not taking the time to slow down for my children.
Tonight, as I tried to tuck my little girl into bed and she jumped on the bed instead, I started to tell her to “hurry up”. But then I caught myself and tickled her instead – much to her delight. And you know what? I haven’t missed those 5 minutes at all…
Do you find yourself rushing through life? Always hurrying? What are your tips for slowing down?